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Poems & Miscellaneous


One Ship Sails East

One Ship Sails East, another sails west
With the self same winds that blow.
It's the set of the sail and not the gale
That determines the way they go.

Like the winds of the sea are the waves of fate
As we journey along through life.
It's the set of the soul that determines the goal
And not the storm and the strife.

Elma Wheeler Wilcox


You and My Christmas List

I have a list of folks I know, all written in a book.
And every year at Christmastime I go and take a look.
For that is when I realize that those names are now a part
Not of the book they are written in, but of my very heart.

And while it sounds fantastic for me to make this claim,
I really feel that I'm composed of each remembered name.
Even though you may not be aware of any special link,
Just meeting you has shaped my life far more than you may think.

For once you have met someone, the years cannot erase
The memories of a kind word or of a friendly face.
So never think my Christmas greeting is just a mere routine
Of names upon a Christmas list, forgotten in between.

For when I send a Christmas card that is addressed to you,
It's because you're one of the many folks that I'm indebted to.
For in some ways I'm a total of the many folks I've met,
And you are one of those that I prefer not to forget.

And whether I have known you for many years or few,
In some way you have had a part in shaping things I do.
And every year when Christmas comes I realize anew,
The best of gifts that life can give is meeting folks like you.

Author Unknown


Why Wait?

I would rather have one little rose
From the garden of a friend,
Than to have the choicest flower
When my stay on Earth must end.

I would rather have the kindest word
And a smile that I can see,
Than flattery when my heart is still
And my life has ceased to be.

I would rather have a living smile
From a friend I know is true,
Than tears shed 'round my casket
When the world I bid adieu.

Bring me all the flowers today,
Whether pink or white or red,
I'd rather have one blossom now,
Than a truckload when I'm dead.

Author Unknown



(For we know that the whole creation groaneth and travaileth until now.
But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night.)

The breeze begins softly, time expands;
The forest lies peacefully, expecting.
Rivers pulsate with life, nourishing;
The sky is high, elements lie in suspension.
Blow wind, blow! Time is not yet come.

Storm breath gathers and licks the hill tops,
Searches time and space, love fears.
A whisper arises, quietly at first
And echoes in the crowing dew of time.
Blow wind, blow! Time is not yet come.

The tempest mounts, bidding time hasten on
Cringing. The hours rebuke the gale and cringe
Again. Soundwaves rumble ominously through time,
The cock crows thrice; the end is near.
Blow wind, blow! Time is not yet come.

Trees cling in desperation to the moist, hot earth;
Rocks and hills cry out to be released, as
All creation groans, and the wind
Swallows up the sound, and is gone.
Time is come. The wind is still.

Kent Kauffman, May 1979


Little Miss Muffet

Little Miss Muffet discovered a tuffet, which never occurred to the rest of us.
And as 'twas a June day, and just about noon day, she wanted to eat (like the best of us).
Her diet was whey, and I hasten to say, it is wholesome and people grow fat on it.
The spot being lonely, the lady not only discovered the tuffet, but sat on it.

A rivulet gabbled and babbled beside her, as rivulets always are thought to do,
And dragonflies sported about and cavorted, as poets say dragonflies ought to do.
When glancing aside for a moment she spied a horrible sight that brought fear to her.
A hideous spider was sitting beside her, and most unavoidably near to her.

Although unsightly, this creature politely said, "Madame, I earnestly vow to you:
I'm penitent that I did not bring my hat. I should otherwise certainly bow to you."
Although anxious to please he grew so ill at ease, that he lost all sense of propriety
And grew so inept that he clumsily stepped in her plate, which is barred in society.

This curious error completed her terror. She shuddered, and growing much paler,
Not only left tuffet, but dealt him a buffet, which doubled him up in a sailors knot.
Now it should be explained, that at this he was pained.
He cried, "I've vexed you no doubt of it. Your fist's like a truncheon."
"You're still in my luncheon," is all that she answered. "Get out of it."

The moral is this, be it madam or miss, to whom you have something to say,
You're only absurd if you get in the curd, but you're rude if you get in the whey!


The Double Life

How very simple life would be if only there were two of me
A Restless One to drift and roam, a Quiet Me to stay at home.
A Searching One to find his fill of varied skies and newfound thrill
While sane and homely things are done by the domestic Other One.

And that's just where the trouble lies; there is a Restless Me that cries
For chancy risks and changing scene, for arctic blue and tropic green,
For deserts with their mystic spell, for lusty fun and raising hell.

But shackled to that Restless Me my Other Self rebelliously
Resists the frantic urge to move. It seeks the old familiar groove
That habits make. It finds content with hearth and home - dear prisonment,
With candlelight and well-loved books and treasured loot in dusty nooks.

With puttering and garden things and dreaming while a cricket sings
And all the while the Restless One insists on more exciting fun,
It wants to go with every tide, no matter where, just for the ride.
Like yowling cats the two selves brawl until I have no peace at all.

One eye turns to the forward track, the other eye looks sadly back.
I'm getting wall-eyed from the strain, (It's tough to have an idle brain)
But one says "Stay" and One says "Go" and One says "Yes" and One says "No"
And One Self wants a home and wife and One Self craves the drifter's life.

The Restless Fellow always wins. I wish my folks had made me twins!


Doing Business

The American businessman was at the pier of a small coastal Mexican village when a small boat with just one fisherman docked. Inside the small boat were several large yellow fin tuna. The American complimented the Mexican on the quality of his fish and asked how long it took to catch them. The Mexican replied, "Only a little while." The American then asked why he didn't stay out longer and catch more fish, to which the Mexican replied that he had enough to support his family's immediate needs.

The American then asked, "But what do you do with the rest of your time?" The fisherman, "I sleep late, fish a little, play with my children, take siesta with my wife Maria, stroll into the village each evening where I sip wine and play guitar with my amigos. I have a full busy life, senor."

The American scoffed, "I'm a Harvard MBA and I could help you. You should spend more time fishing and with the proceeds buy a bigger boat. With the proceeds from the bigger boat you could buy several boats and eventually you would have a fleet of fishing boats. Instead of selling your catch to a middleman you would sell directly to the processor, eventually opening your own cannery. You would control the product, processing, and distribution. You would leave this small coastal fishing village and move to Mexico City, then Los Angeles, and eventually New York City where you would run your expanding enterprise.

The Mexican Fisherman asked, "But Senor, how long will this all take?" The businessman replied, "About 15 or 20 years." "But then what, Senor?"

The businessman laughed and said, "That's the best part. When the time is right you would announce an IPO and sell your company stock to the public and become very rich. You would make millions."

"Millions, Senor? Then what?"

The American said, "Then you would retire, move to a small coastal fishing village where you would sleep late, fish a little, play with your kids, take siesta with your wife, stroll to the village in the evenings where you could sip wine and play your guitar with your amigos.


How the Jews Got the 10 Commandments

God went to the Arabs and said, "I have Commandments for you that will make your lives better."
And the Arabs asked, "What are Commandments?" And the Lord said, "They are rules for living."
"Can you give us an example?"
"Thou shalt not kill."
"Not kill? We're not interested."

So He went to the Blacks and said, "I have Commandments."
And the Blacks wanted an example, and the Lord said, "Honor they Father and Mother."
"Father? We don't know who our fathers are."

So He went to the Mexicans and said, "I have Commandments."
And the Mexicans wanted an example, and the Lord said, "Thou shalt not steal."
"Not steal? We're not interested."

He went to the French and said, "I have Commandments," and the French wanted an example.
The Lord said, "Thou shalt not commit adultery."
"Not commit adultery? We're not interested."

He went to the Jews and said, "I have Commandments."
"Commandments?" They said, "How much are they?"
"They're free."
"We'll take 10!"


Hebrew School

(written by children and have not been retouched or corrected)

The Jews were a proud people and throughout history they had trouble with the unsympathetic Genitals.

The Egyptians were all drowned in the dessert. Afterwards, Moses went up on Mount Cyanide to get the ten ammendments.

The first commandment was when Eve told Adam to eat the apple.

The seventh commandment is thou shalt not admit adultery.

Moses died before he ever reached Canada.

Then Joshua led the Hebrews in the battle of Geritol.

David was a Hebrew king skilled at playing the liar. He fought with the Finklesteins, a race of people who lived in Biblical times.

Solomon, one of David's sons, had 300 wives and 700 porcupines.

Jesus was born because Mary had immaculate contraption.

Jesus enunciated the Golden Rule, which says to do one to others before they do one to you.

It was a miracle when Jesus rose from the dead and managed to get the tombstone off the entrance.

The epistles were the wives of the apostles.

St. Paul cavorted to Christianity. He preached holy acrimony, which is another name for marriage.

(From Bill Beck's Collection)



Phased Introduction of a Pan-European Standard for End-User Communications

The need for the adoption of a standard end-user communication system is particularly apparent in regards to Multinational Companies operating within the European Community. Having chosen English as the preferred language in the European Community, the European Parliament, on behalf of the German Government has commissioned a feasibility study into the ways of improving efficiency in the communications between Government Departments.

European officials have often pointed out that English spelling is unnecessarily difficult, for example, "cough", "plough", "rough", "through", and "thorough". What is clearly needed is a phased programme of changes to iron out these anomalies. The programme would, of course, be administered by a committee staffed at the top level by all participating nations.

For example in the first year, the committee suggests using 's' instead of the soft 'c'. Sertainly, sivil servants in all sites would reseive this news with joy. Then the hard 'c' kould be replased by the 'k' sinse both letters are pronounsed alike. Not only would this klear up konfusion in the minds of klerikal workers, but typewriters kould be made with one letter fewer.

There would be growing enthusiasm when in the sekond year, it was announsed that the troublesome 'ph' would henseforth be written 'f'. This would make words like 'fotograf' 20% shorter to print.

In the third year publik akseptanse of the new spelling kould be expekted to reatsh the stage where more komplikated tenses are possible. Governments would enkourage the removal of double leters, which have always ben a deterant to akurate speling.

We al agre the horible mes kaused by the silent 'e' in the language is digrasful. Therfor we kould drop thez and kontinu to read and writ az though nothing had hapend. By this tim it would be four years sins the skem began, and peopl would be reseptiv to steps sutsh as replasing 'th' with 'z'. Perhaps zen ze funktion of 'w' kould be taken on by 'v', vitsh iz, after al, half a 'w'. Shortly after zis, ze unesasary 'o' kud be droped from vords kontaining 'ou' and similar arguments vud of kors be aplid to ozer kombinations of leters.

Kontinuing zis proses yer after yer, ve vud eventule hav a rele sensibl riten styl. After 20 yerz zer vud be no mor trublsum direktivz and evryon vud find it eze to undestand etsh ozer and zen ze dremz of ze Germans vud finale hav kum tru!



I'm taught p-l-o-u-g-h shall be pronounced "plow"!
"Zat's easy when you know," I say,
"Mon anglais, I'll get through!"

My teacher say zat, "in zat case, o-u-g-h is "oo"!"
And zen I laugh and say to him,
"Zees Anglais make me cough."

He say, "Not "coo", but in zat word, o-u-g-h is "off"."
"Oh, _______! Such varied sounds
Of words makes me to hiccough!"

He say, "Again mon frien' ees wrong;
O-u-g-h is "up" in hiccough."
Zen I cry, "No more, You make my t'rout feel rough."

"Non, not!" he cry, "You are not right; o-u-g-h is "uff"."
I say, "I try to spik your words,
I cannot spik zem though!"

"In time you'll learn, but now you're wrong!
O-u-g-h is "owe". "I'll try no more, I shall go mad,
I'll drown me in ze l'ough!"

"But ere you drown yourself," said he, "O-u-g-h is "ock"!"
He taught no more, I held him fast,
And killed him weeth a rough!


Were You in My Class?

While waiting for my first appointment in the reception room of a new dentist, I noticed his certificate, which bore his full name. Suddenly, I remembered that a tall, handsome boy with the same name had been in my high school class some 30 years ago. Upon seeing him, however, I quickly discarded any such thought. This balding gray-haired man with the deeply lined face was too old to have been my classmate.
After he had examined my teeth, I asked him if he had attended the local high school.
"Yes," he replied.
"When did you graduate," I asked.
He answered, "In 1960."
"Why, you were in my class!" I exclaimed.
He looked at me closely and then asked, "What did you teach?"

Just Silly Stuff

Old Mother Hubbard

Old Mother Hubbard went to the cupboard to get her poor daughter a dress.
But when she got there the cupboard was bare, and so was her daughter, I guess.


Mary Had a Little Lamb

Mary had a little lamb, whose fleece was white as snow,
And everywhere that lamby went his fleece was sure to go.

Mary had a little lamb, whose fleece was black as soot,
And everywhere that lamby went, his sooty foot he put.

Mary had a little lamb; she tied him to a heater.
And every time he turned around, he burned his little seater.

Mary had a little lamb; she fed him Campbell's Soup.
And every time she turned around, she stepped in lamby's poop.

Mary had a little lamb, her daddy shot him dead.
And now he goes to school with her, between two hunks of bread!

Mary had a little lamb, the doctor was surprised.
But when old MacDonald had a farm, you should have seen his eyes!


One Fine Day

One fine morning in the middle of the night,
Two dead boys got up to fight.
Back to back they faced each other,
Drew their swords and shot each other.

One was blind and the other couldn't see,
So they chose a dummy for a referee.
A blind man went to see fair play,
A dumb man went to shout "hooray"!

A paralyzed donkey passing by,
Kicked the blind man in the eye.
Knocked him through a nine-inch wall,
Into a dry ditch and drowned them all.

A deaf policeman heard the noise,
And came to arrest the two dead boys.
Now if you don't believe this lie is true,
Ask the blind man - he saw it too!



A birdy with a golden bill sat upon my window sill
I fed it crumbs of corn and bread, and then I smashed his little head!



I see the wave approach the beach. I see the shore it wants to reach.
I see the rock on which it slams, smashing all the little clams.



Lord grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change,
The courage to change the things I can,
And the wisdom to bury the bodies of the people I had to kill along the way
Because they pissed me off!



Spring has sprung
Fall has fell
Summer's here
And it's hotter than
It was last summer


Seasons II

Some people winter in Florida
Some people summer in Maine
But when I think of you
I spring in the air and fall in the street!



Birdy, Birdy in the sky
Dropped some whitewash in my eye
Me no sissy, me no cry,
Me just glad that cows don't fly!



Two little boys late one night
Tried to go to Harvard on the end of a kite.
The kite string broke and down they fell,
Instead of going to Harvard they went to....
Now don't get excited and don't get pale.
Instead of going to Harvard they went to Yale.


Tunes Revised

Here comes Peter Cottontail
Hoppin' down the bunny trail - TRIP!

You are my sunshine my only sunshine
You make me HOT!

Swing low, sweet chariot, Comin' for to carry me home.
Swing low, sweet chariot, SCRAPE!

Up on the housetop reindeer paws - SLIP!

I was sinking deep in sin - WHEE!

Walking with Jesus,
Left, left, left right left!


Tom Horner

Little Tom Horner sat in a corner eating his Christmas pie.
He stuck in his thumb and pulled out a plumb and said,
"Oh ick! I've got a plumb on my thumb!"


Roses etc.

Roses are red. Violets are blue.
Sugar is sweet and so are you.

Roses are red. Violets are blue.
You have a nose like a B-52.

Roses are red. Beans are green.
You have a wiggle like a washing machine.

Roses are red. Violets are blue.
Rain on the roof reminds me of you:
Drip Drip Drip Drip!

Roses are red. Violets are blue.
I like grapefruit. Do you skate?

Roses are red. Toilets are white.
Don't eat too many prunes or you'll be there all night.

Roses are red. Violets are purple.
Sugar is sweet and so is maple syrupal.

Roses are red. Violets are purple.
It's hard to breathe down here
Cuz I forgot my snorkel!

Roses are red. Gladiolas are pink.
That's enough of these, don't you think?



I love you little, I love you big.
I love you like a little pig!


Me & Thee

The whole world's queer save me and thee,
And sometimes I think maybe even thee's a bit queer.


Hickory Dickory

Hickory dickory dock, three mice ran up a clock
The clock struck one and the other two ran down.



You Drip!
A drip's a drop
A drop is water
Water is nature
Nature is beautiful
Thanks for the compliment!


Sticks & Stones

1.      Sticks and stones may break my bones, but names can never hurt me!

2.      Sticks and stones may break my bones, so please don't throw them at me!

3.      Sticks and stones may break my bones, but whips and chains excite me!




Spider, spider on the wall
Why are you even there at all?
Don't you know it's made of plaster?
Get off that wall you dirty....Bug.


Kiss Goodnight

Don't kiss good night at the garden gate.
Love may be blind, but the neighbors ain't!



There once was a man named Charlie
Who went to the park to pick barley
He fell from a tree and landed on me
And now I can't walk - hardly!



When I works, I works hard.
When I sits, I sits loose.
When I thinks, I falls asleep!



Men's faults are many, Women have only two;
Everything they say and everything they do!



Here I sit in the moonlight
Avoided by women and men
Murmuring over and over to myself
I'll never eat onions again!


Of Canucks and Yanks (1972)

The United States has: Richard Nixon, Johnny Cash, and Bob Hope.
Canada has: Pierre Trudeau, No Cash, and No Hope!


Pick Your Friends

You can pick your friends and you can pick your nose
But you can't pick your friends' nose! (unless you wanna' boogie!)



The stockings were hung by the chimney with care
I'd worn them for months and they needed the air!


For an Autograph

Can't think - brain dumb
Inspiration - won't come
Bad ink - bad pen
Best Wishes - Amen!



Pick up the pieces of your shattered life and move on!

Have a nice day - unless you've made other plans!

Morticians dig smokers!

Cancer cures smoking!

Those of you who think you know it all, are particularly annoying to those of us who do!

Dog spelled backwards is really man's best friend!

As Calvin said to Servitus, "Your steak is burning!"

Build a bridge and get over it!

Kent Kauffman

April 2005

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